Category: Leisure:Games

A monthly podcast dedicated to the history, evolution, present state, and future potential of our favorite board games.

October 1, 2021

Episode 38 - Time Travel Games

For a lot of us, the past year and a half has been kind of a wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey blur. To celebrate (?) that, here's an episode on some games that use time travel as a mechanic, not just a theme. Sadly, Jayson was not able to join us for recording in this particular timeline, but we talk about him anyway. Learn what game Frank thought was so bad, he destroyed it "for the good of the world." Some visuals we mention in our audio show include:

And given that we're enormous nerds, we talk about a lot of time travel stuff other than board games, including:

Whether in the past or the future - or even RIGHT NOW - we'd love to have you visit our website and let us know what episodes we should record next. You're also more than welcome to comment on the episode page, or our Facebook page, or tag @ascentofgames on Twitter - however you prefer to share your opinions with us. And if you have the time - time, get it? - to leave us a review on iTunes, we'd be very grateful indeed!

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

September 1, 2021

Episode 37 - Games You Shouldn‘t Play

Hey, you know how we mostly talk about games we like on this show? Well, here's a change of pace for you! That's right, here's an entire episode on games we think you shouldn't play - either because they're unplayable as written, wracked by production errors, or just really, really bad. Don't give up hope, though - we do have recommendations for better games that we think you should play instead. Listen along as:

  • None of us can remember which of Fast Food Franchise and Food Chain Magnate is which.
  • Mike is very annoyed that he didn't get to play one of the games you should never play.
  • The ritual of Throwing A Die, and its origin in...[checks notes]...boring goat-fondling
  • When the nicest thing you can say about a game company is, "They make really nice bags."
  • Was this Kickstarter a troll, a money-laundering scheme, or just a series of really terrible ideas? The world may never know.

And, of course, we have plenty of other random links and stuff!

We'd love to have you visit our website and let us know what episodes we should record next. You're also more than welcome to comment on the episode page, or our Facebook page, or tag @ascentofgames on Twitter - however you prefer to share your opinions with us. And if you have the time to leave us a review on iTunes, we'd be very grateful indeed!

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

August 1, 2021

Episode 36 - Tech Trees and Skill Trees

Hi! It's us again! (Well, "us" minus Mike but plus Sandi.) This month we're talking about tech trees and skill trees, two similar sets of mechanics that Frank has been a little obsessed with lately. There are lots of 4X games and lots of dungeon-crawling campaign games, plus a few others we snuck in here and there. Plus more opinions, sass, and stories about Sandi's crossbow!

We've added a bunch of new options to our Upcoming Episodes poll at our website, so please swing by and place your votes! Of, of course, you could comment on the episode page, or our Facebook page, or tag @ascentofgames on Twitter - whatever your little social media heart desires. And if it desires to leave us a review on iTunes, our little social media hearts would be very grateful indeed!

By the way, this is the Sidereal Confluence card Joe is describing at around 25:05, and this is the original (and obviously much clearer) version.

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

July 1, 2021

Episode 35 - Worker Placement Games

It's been a long time, but this episode was recorded with us all live in the same room! In other words, we were all WORKING in the same PLACE, which may give you a hint as to the topic of this episode (if you haven't, you know, read the title already). We learned fun things like what game Sandi would rather bleed from the eyes than play, what game makes Joe feel like "a giant, raging jerk the entire game," and that Brian still can't get his co-hosts' names right.

Also, have some non-audio content:

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

June 1, 2021

Episode 34 - Out of the Lockdown

We're playing board games again! In the same physical space as each other! Vaccinations - another win for science! In this episode, we discuss the games that we're most looking forward to playing - on a real physical table in someone's house! Also, we ask timeless questions like:

  • What game does Frank describe as "Wheel of Fortune, the legacy board game"? 
  • What game does Brian describe as "the most Frank Branham game I've ever heard of"?
  • How many different ways can we mispronounce Corey Konieczka's name in one episode?
  • How many different ways can we mispronounce Leder Games in one episode?
  • And who recorded the best rock cover of a Saturday morning cartoon theme song? The Who? The Ramones? Or someone else entirely?

In addition:

  • Mike has achieved a dubious achievement!
  • We take a (mercifully brief) digression into the history of JRPGs.
  • Brian reveals his mean side, which he's never actually hidden.
  • We add another X and create the first 5X game! (Conceptually, at least.)
  • We start a new competition, and Jayson immediately comes up with a way to beat us at it.

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

May 2, 2021

Episode 33 - Two-Player Games

We recorded this back on Valentine's Day, but it's taken us this long to release it, so...well, enjoy some two-player games for Cinco de Mayo, maybe? In this episode:

  • Sandi has a crossbow!
  • Frank tells us about a game that made him bleed. (This is not related to Sandi having a crossbow...yet.)
  • Mike single-handedly revolutionizes the history of agriculture, and thus civilization itself!
  • Brian forgets Frank's name.
  • Jayson points out a very...European ad for Klask.

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

May 2, 2021

Brief delay for Episode 33

With apologies from Your Penitent Editor, Episode 33 (Two Player Games) won't be out until tomorrow, May 2. The reasons are many and not especially interesting, but shouldn't reoccur in the future. Thanks for your patience!

April 2, 2021

Episode 32 - Roll and Write Games

Roll and Write games! Yet another surprisingly contentious topic, but we went ahead anyway. This definitely wasn't planned as an April Fool's episode, but I have to admit we get a little foolish at a couple points here. (Also, apologies for Mike's audio, as he was fighting with an uncooperative dishwasher.)

  • Mike reveals the depth of his Avengers lore when he tells us about Thanos and his "Power Gems of Destiny"
  • Frank makes a joke about Hunger Games Yahtzee, only to discover the existence of Battle Yahtzee: Alien vs Predator
  • We (again) discuss the amazing Sid Sackson's classic A Gamut of Games
  • Joe does math! (Or, rather, makes Wolfram Alpha do math for him)
  • We invoke the wrath of mighty Tetrises - a cruel and angry god indeed
  • We discuss the surprisingly diverse game designs of Hjalmar Hach and Lorenzo Silva
  • Frank doesn't know what's wrong with Brian. (How much time do you have, Frank?)

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

March 1, 2021

Episode 31B - Good Tie-In Games, Part2

We're back to talk some more about some of our favorite tie-in games (and slightly less about Jodorowsky's Dune). We continue our tradition of not knowing what the heck we're talking about, as an off-mic Sandi corrects Frank's gross misunderstanding of the Witcher's fundamental nature. This episode also encompasses virtually all of Jayson's childhood (and, indeed, adulthood), plus some commentary from the rest of us, including some discussions on some franchises that we wish WOULD have a good board game, but don't.

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!

February 1, 2021

Episode 31 - Good Tie-In Games, Part 1

It turns out we REALLY like talking about the universes and stories that we love. So much so that this episode on book/TV/movie tie-in games has grown to expand into two episodes, mostly because we won't shut up. Hopefully this experiment doesn't drive you too crazy.

It also turns out that, while we like these things, we don't know as much about them as we should. For example:

  • Jayson talks about Conan for 20 minutes, but doesn't know what is best in life.
  • Brian raves about Tolkien games, but cannot distinguish between The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (games).
  • Frank loves Toho monster movies, but cannot identify Megalon. (He also has some math issues.)
  • Joe takes a brief tangent on Jodorowsky's Dune and suddenly thinks the podcast is a TV show. Then things get weird. (I'm very sorry.) 

Other items of interest in this episode include:

  • This will be no surprise to our regular listeners, but Frank owns many, many board games.
  • Joe began his foray into board game design at a very young age.
  • Brian gets slightly maniacal at the pace of the episode.

As always, we appreciate your listening and would love to hear your comments on any or all of these items, and especially a review on iTunes if you have the time and inclination!

Intro and outro music is "Evening Melodrama" by Kevin MacLeod (incompetech.com), licensed under a Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License.

The Ascent of Board Games is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. Some rights reserved.

Thank you for listening!